Hello from North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. My name is Maureen O’Connell and I am the founder of Best Self Virtual Therapy.

I am in one of my happy places at the beach, and it is a gorgeous day. Today is October 23rd, 2023 and I am here to make a few videos on important topics. For me, top of the list, therapy stigma.

So the question is: “Therapy: to fear or not to fear?” And I know, I’m a therapist and I’m very biased, and I definitely don’t think it’s something to fear. But I’ve been doing it for almost 18 years, so for me, I love it and there’s no fear. But I know that for a lot of people they don’t feel that way, and a lot of people don’t get help because of the different things that make them afraid about it. And then when they do get help, they realize, “oh my gosh I wish I had done this so much sooner.”

So instead of me trying to convince you based on why I think therapy is helpful and effective, because I have a whole long list of things that I could tell you, I went ahead and just asked my clients:

“Hey, what made you afraid?

What were the things that kind of made it like you know off the list of possibilities?

Why was it, what was so scary about it?

And then how did you overcome it, or what would you say to somebody who is in that same position?

What would they say to you?”

So don’t take it from me.

So what people had to say was awesome. It was really helpful. And the theme was that they saw therapy as something that is for people who you know are weak and/or crazy with super serious problems like major trauma or depression so bad you can’t get out of bed, just really extreme problems.

One of my clients said that she thought she would have to convince me that her problems were so bad in order for me to be willing to help her. Ashe soon figured out that that was not the case, and that the stuff she was struggling with I totally saw as therapy worthy.

So a lot of people feel like they should just be able to figure it out themselves if they just try harder, pray more, then the things that they keep repeating and struggling with should just go away. Well, it just doesn’t work that way.

And to the men, I know for you guys that seeking help is even extra hard. It’s hard enough enough for the average person to seek therapy, but I know you guys really struggle and I just want to say to you that I’ve never had a man regret doing it. Now, they do have a harder time sometimes talking and thinking too that they have enough to talk about, but usually they find that if they stick with it, they get where they need to go and they actually do have a lot to talk about.

So what would my clients say if they could go back and talk to themselves or if they could talk to you? Essentially what they would say is don’t wait. You won’t regret it. You’re not weak. We all need help and support at different times of our life from somebody who is objective and can help us work through the stuff that we can’t see ourselves. There is no shame in saying that you need some help and we all need it. So here’s to you being your best self.